Jewish PR 101 – El Al’s Ticket Mistake and Stellar Recovery

Jewish PR 101 – El Al’s Ticket Mistake and Stellar Recovery

El Al Discount TicketsEl Al’s newest ticket pricing issues doesn’t come from high fuel prices. A daily deal site offered bargain basement rates on flights to Israel from the U.S. Over 5,000 tickets were sold in a matter of hours before the price was corrected. Maybe this is the year of the technology glitches (see NASDAQ’s Facebook IPO glitch and Knight Capital’s $400 million software error). Perhaps this is a major flaw in the “daily deals” business model; perhaps this mistake was plain old human error. From a marketing perspective, this is an example of how social media can distribute one’s marketing message in one arena and have it spread virally in a matter of moments. Although social media is great for it’s virality, it’s extremely hard to recuperate after letting negative or wrong information go viral. No matter who’s to blame, the bottom line is that El Al has planes full of passengers paying extremely little.

Those rare companies that disregard the last three words of that sentence and instead focus on “planes full of passengers” is a company that deserves praise and loyalty. El Al opted to go “cup half full” and see past their lack of profit, focusing instead on the thousands of new passengers they’ve obtained and honoring all tickets purchased at the discounted rate. For most companies, quarterly bottom lines and stock prices dictate the basics of business; El Al is a company focused on profits like any other, but they’ve elected to ignore the bottom line for now and accentuate the positives: thousands of happy and overjoyed passengers that get to take an El Al flight to Israel.

Which exemplifies how valuable good old customer service can be for even the occasional Jewish customer. El Al did the absolute best thing by honoring the ticket sales, no matter what the cost to their bottom line or lack of profits. Perhaps this deal glitch was even a daring marketing tactic for the slow winter months, when packed El Al flights are few and far between – offer extremely reduced rates and fill your flights (you’re flying half empty planes anyway; why not try to fill it by offering remnant prices?) Currently, El Al is even offering stopover ticketed passengers an upgrade to non-stop flights which will enable El Al to gain some additional revenue per passenger.

Beleaguered on all fronts by high gas prices, stiff competition, and the constant fear of a potential war in the Middle East, as well as the lingering resentment by Ultra-Orthodox flyers over meat meals during the Nine Days and flights on Sabbath, El Al has struggled mightily in the past decade. Many Jewish passengers today feel little loyalty to an “Official Airline of Israel” (not to compare at all, but it’s reminiscent of how the Jewish community, over time, doesn’t mind driving Mercedes Benz’s or BMW’s in the 21st century when just twenty years ago it was highly taboo to drive a “German car”.  With this daily deal snafu, El Al may have finally gotten a chance to show their passengers what makes their flights and service special as the official airline of Israel. Back to basics, in a way. El Al needs to take this opportunity to charm the hell out of their riders – great attendants, warm smiles, excellent food, little delays, and stocked cupboards – and ensure passengers remember the value of a dedicated Israeli airline. El Al has the attention of their passengers and a great marketing and PR strategy on board is extremely important.

An airline is only as good as it’s last flight. El Al has already done a great job ensuring the ticket buyers are happy with their purchases. Now, bring the satisfied experience full circle with a flight to remember by the official airline of Israel.


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Advertisements
Jewish Social Media 101 – Social Media Outsourcing Increases 128%

Jewish Social Media 101 – Social Media Outsourcing Increases 128%

Social Media - In House or Outsource?It’s no surprise that hiring a full time social media employee increasingly seems to be a luxury a small business or non-profit can’t afford (see our past social media blog post here). Benefits and lack of comprehensive ROI measurements, you’re talking about $46,000 to $71,000 for a Social Media Specialist alone. How long will that compensation level last? That explains why outsourcing has risen 128% in only two years. It just makes sense to the bottom line, allows for greater flexibility (freelancers can tweet at 11:00 PM at night!), and free’s up some company cash to focus on mobile or social advertising, a smarter, more measurable investment. Read on to see the statistics and the pros/cons of outsourcing your social media.

Social Media Outsourcing Increases 128% in Two Years [New Report]

Posted by Corey Eridon

outsourcing social media

Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner is releasing his 2012 State of the Social Media Marketing Industry report today after his 1:00 PM EST webinar with HubSpot’s Content Strategist Kipp Bodnar, where the two will review all the juicy data. Part of Michael’s research included asking social media marketers whether they’re outsourcing any of their social media marketing tasks, and if so, what specifically they’re outsourcing. Turns out, in 2010, only 14% of marketers outsourced social media marketing. Last year, that number doubled to 28%. And this year, the percentage rose yet again, with 32% of marketers outsourcing social media.

It’s not exactly “news” that marketers are strapped for time, so when budget allows, it can be a huge relief to outsource activities to reputable agencies or contractors. But if you’ve spent any time on Twitter, you’ve probably seen more than your share of social media “experts,” “gurus,” and “ninjas.” In other words, it’s really easy for a marketer to get sucked in by contractors or agencies that might not be qualified to manage their social media presence.

So let’s break down the activities social media marketers have decided to outsource, and examine the pros and cons for outsourcing the most popular activities that show up on the list. That way, if you do decide to outsource, you know what to look out for so you actually see ROI on your outsourced social media spend.

What Social Media Marketers are Outsourcing in 2012

So, what are social media marketers outsourcing? Let’s take a look at the research from the report!

social media tasks being outsourcedAn interesting point of data the report uncovered is that social media marketers with 3 or more years of experience are 23% more likely to outsource design and development tasks than beginners. And according to another report we recently released — the State of the Online Marketing Services Industry83% of agencies offer social media services, with 7% planning to add it in the future.

So are these outsourcing choices a good idea? What troubles might a marketer encounter by outsourcing any of these tasks? If you’re considering a third party for any or all of these tasks, consider these pros and cons first that will help you do your due diligence.

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Social Media Activities

Design and Development

Design and development is one of those tasks that often plagues marketers. Some of us are analytical, some are content creators, some are graphically inclined — a lucky few are all three. But it makes sense to seek a third party for design and development work who has more expertise in creating a beautiful design (just like you may have done for your website). More importantly, it’s one-time or infrequent work that doesn’t require ongoing maintenance. There’s relatively low risk in asking an agency, firm, or contractor to do your social media design and development.

Unless, of course, you are so active in social media that you’re making constant changes and updates. Social media is changing quite frequently — just look at the new Twitter brand pages, the evolution of Pinterest, Facebook’s new page layout, and the release of Open Graph applications. Visual content is becoming more important for a social media strategy, brand pages are gaining new functionality and changing layouts, and if you’re really sophisticated, you might be experimenting with Open Graph. If you’re truly leveraging all of the new updates that come out, it may make sense to have a designer or developer on staff to help you respond quickly. But, all in all, having design and development managed by a third party is quite low risk.

Analytics

The State of Social Media Marketing Report showed that the number one question asked by marketers — for three years in a row, actually — was how to measure the ROI of social media marketing efforts. If marketers aren’t sure how to do this, it’s no wonder social media analytics is being outsourced to a third party. The problem is, the success of this is largely reliant on two things: the tool being used, and the person analyzing the data.

We’re obviously a big fan of using our own software to analyze the effectiveness of our social media marketing, because it offers closed-loop reporting. That means instead of just looking at how many likes, follows, or retweets you receive, you not only know whether you’re generating leads from your social media networks (and on which networks you do so most effectively), but also whether those leads turn into customers, and at what rate.

But because marketers are so confused about how to measure social media’s ROI, it’s certainly easy to be duped into using an agency’s proprietary or third-party analytics tool that may have tons of fancy graphs, lots of numbers, and export complicated spreadsheets — but it really doesn’t tell you how to do anything actionable to improve your social media marketing with that data. So if you’re considering using a third party for social media analytics, make sure that their tool not only offers closed-loop reporting, but that the person analyzing the data can also tell you how to use that information to improve your marketing strategy.

Content Creation

You need content to fuel your social media strategy, but it requires a high time investment that many marketers don’t have — perhaps one of the highest time investments of anything on this list. So it makes sense that content creation is outsourced. Go for it! Hire someone to create great blog content, ebooks/whitepapers, videos, and infographics that will make your social media presence valuable for your followers!

But start slow — ask for some writing samples and test content before committing to a large content creation contract. Just like there are many social media ninjas out there, there are plenty of freelance writers that may create subpar content or leave you hanging on a deadline. We’ve written a blog post about how to screen freelance writers if you’re considering going that route; but if you hire an agency, it’s likely the writers have been screened in advance. Just make sure you ask for samples that relate to your industry before putting pen to paper.

Monitoring

Social media monitoring can be a laborious chore at best, and a distracting one at worst — depending on the size of your following and what you use social media for. HubSpot, for example, has a social media following across accounts of about 318,000. We use those accounts for publishing content, talking to followers, and customer service triage. And we keep monitoring in-house, because we’ve found a way to do so without taking up much of our day (which we’ve shared with you in our ebook about Monitoring Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes a Day).

That being said, there are challenges that other businesses are faced with that make outsourced social media monitoring a logical solution. For example, international businesses or those that never really “close” may be receiving tweets 24/7. And it doesn’t look good when a serious customer service question can’t be answered in a timely manner, nor is it a pleasant working environment for a community manager who is constantly checking for customer service issues at all hours of the night. For businesses of this nature, outsourced monitoring makes sense — but only to agencies that truly understand your values and how you want to communicate with customers. We’ve covered what can happen when your agency doesn’t monitor social media for complaints in our post about AT&T’s Twitter SPAM snafu. If you choose to outsource monitoring, monitor your agency in the beginning, too.

Research & Strategy

I’ve combined “Research” and “Strategy” because, frankly, you can’t have one without the other. And just like social media analyzing is a common problem for marketers, many have also expressed confusion over how to create a social media strategy. The strategy is posting updates, right?

Wrong — and if you have an agency that is telling you that, run away fast. Posting updates is a tactic (which we’ll cover in the next section!) that helps you achieve a larger strategy. And a great consultant or agency will help draw that strategy out of you through diligent competitive and industry research, getting to know your business, and talking to you about your marketing and business goals. Then they should be able to outline a detailed plan for you about how to achieve that strategy — that either you, their staff, or another third party — can execute.

Is your consultant or agency asking you what your big picture goals are? Do you want to generate more leads, and think social media could help you do that? If so, what kind of leads? How will you nurture those leads after they’ve been generated? Or perhaps you need to improve your brand’s public image, and you think social media can help you do that. Will they be able to give you actionable advice on how to use social media as part of a larger branding strategy that differentiates yourself from your competitors and integrates with your other marketing activities? If these are the types of discussions you’re having with a third-party research and strategy provider, you have probably found a reliable consultant. But as we said before … beware the “ninjas” and “gurus” who can’t truly provide actionable advice that integrates with your larger marketing strategy.

Status Updates

Status updates are easy to integrate into your daily social media monitoring, especially if you take time out each week to schedule posts across all accounts using tools like HubSpot’s social media bookmarklet. If you’re already outsourcing your monitoring, ask if you can also integrate automated updating as a service. But this task is so simple to work into your day — especially since you’ll likely be publishing custom content, too — that a marketer on a budget could probably get more value spending their dollars elsewhere.

Community Management

While social media monitoring can be outsourced successfully when the proper protocol is in place, I believe community management is best left in-house — so I’m glad to see it as the least frequently outsources task on the list. While social media monitoring can simply be alerting the proper internal parties of a problem that arises on social media, community managers have a personal relationship with many members of their social media networks. Successful community managers identify influencers, get buy-in on controversial changes as a trusted member of the group, and often engage offline with many of their contacts.

The level of trust required to be a community manager is often diluted if fans and followers learn they’re dealing with an “outsider” from an agency. If you’re looking to fill a community manager position, your networks will have an easier time accepting someone from the inside.

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32208/Social-Media-Outsourcing-Increases-128-in-Two-Years-New-Report.aspx#ixzz1sxrsaf1B


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish Social Media 101 – To Hire or To Outsource Jewish Social Media? You Decide!

Jewish Social Media 101 – To Hire or To Outsource Jewish Social Media? You Decide!

Social Media - In House or Outsource?Hiring a full time Social Media Strategist, though highly important in the new age of digital PR & fundraising, can be very expensive for the budget strapped non-profit or school. As shown below, you have to budget in between $46,000 to $71,000 for a Social Media Specialist alone (benefits not included). For Jewish companies, you also have to factor in health insurance, benefits, and the intangible “Jewish cost-of-living”, as well as the risk of high turnover due to the strong demand for Jewish social media employees. Plus, the ROI from social media is still tough to determine – is it how many “Likes” you get, or maybe the amount of “Tweets”? And how do you tie it back to sales? (this ALSO doesn’t take into account that your employees will end up being on Facebook all day. Not much work ethic there.)

Bear in mind also that many Jewish non-profits and schools are still focused on traditional methods of Jewish marketing & communications. Which is why advertising in Jewish print media has continued to remain stable while digital & social marketing lags behind. The extent of Jewish social media is the community shul listserve, such as Yahoo Groups or Google Groups, which is a textual Craigslist type of community bulletin board. Jewish social media groups have attempted to pop up though most are merely groups within Facebook & Linkedin. As a result, social media as a career hasn’t taken off in the Jewish marketplace, except as a freelance option.

Overall, the smarter choice is to outsource your Jewish social media (social media outsourcing rose 128% last year) to freelance experts who don’t require full-time employment but can do the job equally well. Using the outline of salaries and need for social media strategy, you can judge your need and decide what tasks you can outsource and what tasks to keep in house. Reposted from Onward Search, a Social Media Recruiting Firm.

http://www.onwardsearch.com/Social-Media-Salaries/


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish Social Media 101 – Jewish Non-Profits and Social Media: Do They Get It?

Jewish Social Media 101 – Jewish Non-Profits and Social Media: Do They Get It?

Jewish bloggerHere’s an excellent blog post from Rabbi Jason Miller that illustrates the need for Synagogues and Jewish non-profits to do more than take the easy way out of performing social media. Key line regarding volunteers: “you get what you pay for.” And if you’re not paying, you’re probably not getting the best Jewish social media experience possible.
The Jewish Week
Published on The Jewish Week (http://www.thejewishweek.com)

Jewish Non-Profits and Social Media – Do They Get It?

By Rabbi Jason Miller

Are Jewish Non-Profits adding social media to their arsenal of marketing tools?

Are Jewish Non-Profits adding social media to their arsenal of marketing tools?

Cross-posted to Blog.RabbiJason.comAs a rabbi who is a social mediaologist, I find myself consulting a lot of synagogues and Jewish nonprofits on their social media strategy. The leaders of these institutions all recognize that they require a social media strategy, but the plan for how it will be implemented varies greatly.Many synagogues in 2012 have yet to budget for social media marketing so they look for the quickest and cheapest solution. In most cases this comprises of identifying a volunteer lay person or existing staff member who is willing and able to set up the congregation’s social media presence across the major networks. In some instances this is a teen who claims to be a Facebook wiz and over-promises and under-delivers. With many volunteers, congregations often get what they pay for.

Jewish organizations seem to be a little further ahead than synagogues in the social media department. Third party retailers like Target and Home Depot have forced nonprofit institutions to get on the social media bandwagon quickly because of their online contests in which the retailer partners with nonprofits for fundraising prizes. These crowd-raising initiatives have required nonprofits to bolster their social identity online to compete in the contests.

While businesses in the for-profit world have allocated serious funds to their online marketing initiative, the nonprofit world is still light-years behind. That should be no surprise because nonprofits often take a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to change.

Robert Evans and Avrum Lapin recently wrote on the eJewishPhilanthropy blog about an unofficial survey they conducted to investigate how Jewish nonprofits are “utilizing social media and how it enables them to meet the demands that they and their leaders are facing.” From the outset, they assert that the picture is not entirely positive and quote a synagogue software system developer lamenting that “most of the Jewish world seems frozen in the 20th century when it comes to being technologically advanced.”

Our recent survey demonstrated a significant lack of human or dollar resources invested by Jewish groups into Facebook and Twitter. Very few synagogues even seem to have any presence on Facebook or Twitter, although they all have websites, many of which are reasonably interactive. Robyn Cimbol, director of development at New York City’s Temple Emanu-El, noted that her congregation was probably the first Jewish congregation to have a website but today they have no specific plans to foster Facebook or Twitter activities, citing other pressing priorities and no apparent demands from their 2,800 member households. “We have limited staff resources and capabilities for this,” she noted, “but we are gearing up ultimately to recognize social media as one communications opportunity,” she told us. She did emphasize that “a number of staff members do use Face Book [sic]… to communicate with specific constituents but it is not used Temple-wide.”

Facebook reports that 89% of 1.3 million U.S. nonprofit organizations boast a social networking presence, offering opportunities potentially for fundraising. However, fundraising on Facebook is still a “minority effort,” despite recent gains.

The authors of the study recognize that the Jewish nonprofits that have succeeded the most in social media marketing have been those that have participated in social fundraisers with third parties, such as mega-retailers or major foundations. Many organizations that find themselves competing in these online social fundraisers have allocated staff time or in some cases hired dedicated part-time staff to manage these initiatives (if they win there is a good return on investment).

The Jewish Education Project and JESNA’s Lippman Kanfer Institute (in partnership with UJA Federation of New York) have launched the Jewish Futures Competition, which will dole out $1,800 prizes for Jewish nonprofits to advance their social media identities. As more synagogues and Jewish nonprofits become more focused on bolstering their social media exposure (moving from building their fan base on a Facebook page to increasing their brand amplification through likes, comments and shares), they will integrate their email marketing (Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.) and online fundraising (Razoo, CauseCast, DonorPages, etc.) into their social networking.

Evans and Lapin’s study demonstrates that nonprofits do understand the value in using social networks for fundraising. “According to this year’s Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, four out of five nonprofit organizations find social networks a ‘valuable’ fundraising option.” However, these same nonprofits aren’t able to quantify why that is. It is important to remember that social media is still in its infancy. As it grows (and its exponential growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon), more synagogues and nonprofits will get on board by allocating the necessary resources to its success.

As they say, the “proof is in the pudding” and the ROI will be noticeable for the synagogues and Jewish nonprofits who dedicate the necessary time and resources to building their brand/mission exposure through social media. Change is never easy and the nonprofit world is more risk averse when it comes to technological innovation. At least the conversations about social media integration are taking place in the Jewish nonprofit world, and the studies are showing that a realization exists that this is a necessary form of communication, marketing and fundraising in the 21st century.

Rabbi Jason Miller is an entrepreneurial rabbi and technologist. He is president of Access Computer Technology in Michigan and blogs regularly at Blog.RabbiJason.com. Follow him on Twitter @rabbijason.


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish Marketing 101 – Does Jewish Non-Profit Direct Mail Work Anymore?

Jewish Marketing 101 – Does Jewish Non-Profit Direct Mail Work Anymore?

Jewish Direct Mail for Non-Profits

When it comes to sending direct mail to potential donors, attendee’s, and prospects, are you getting the best return on your investement these days? With numerous email, insert, and direct marketing tools targeting the Jewish market, perhaps it pays to take another look at direct mailings for targeting the Jewish market.

(We’ll get into the intricacies of the Jewish market receiving mail on Shabbat as well, a big issue to consider)

Well, let’s go to the direct mail stats to start. According to the Direct Marketing Association‘s recent findings:

  • Response rates for Direct Mail have held steady over the past four years.  Letter-sized envelopes, for instance, had a response rate this year of 3.42 percent for a house list and 1.38 percent for a prospect list. 
  • Catalogs had the lowest cost per lead/order of $47.61, just ahead of inserts at $47.69, email at $53.85, and postcards $75.32. 

Overall, what this translates into is that Jewish non-profits sending direct mail to your list, in house or purchased lists, has an extremely low rate of return – less than 4%. Even less when prospecting. That doesn’t sound too successful. I think of it not just as succeeding 4% of the time but also as striking out 96% of the time. That’s after spending a nice amount of money on printing costs, collating, postage, and follow up. Note also that many Jewish organizations DON’T do follow up, perhaps one of the most important parts in fundraising and business development. Shelling out thousands of dollars on a mailing, a few thousand more on a prospect list, and sending without follow through just doesn’t seem like a prudent choice of marketing these days.

But what’s the alternatives here? For the Jewish market, there are plenty. First, let’s examine another interesting find by the DMA:

  • Email to a house list averaged:  a 19.47 percent open rate; a 6.64 percent click-through rate; a 1.73 percent conversion rate; with a bounce-back rate of 3.72 percent and an unsubscribe rate of 0.77 percent. 

EMAIL MARKETING

If you have a choice between sending a large direct mail campaign and large email campaign, the choice is obvious – go for email. Email is instant, measurable, quantifiable, and can result in social sharing and instant results. Repeat – instant results.

These days, not many people will simply receive a snail mail piece, read it, pick up the phone/go to their computer, find your site, and make a donation. However, sending an email with a “DONATE NOW” link or even a “TEXT to DONATE” option will lead to instant results. The key word here is INSTANT. The second key word is measurable. Going further, for the Jewish market, imagine getting the piece of mail on Shabbat – because many Jews aren’t using electronics, they lose the passion or focus of the mailing’s message as the day goes on (that’s even if they open mail, which many do not on Shabbat). And what’s the first thing they do when Shabbat ends? They check their email. Skip the mailing, go for the emailing lists.

INSERTS

One of the mainstays of the Jewish market will be their Jewish newspaper. Contrary to popular belief, ethnic and local community publications are alive and well in terms of audience and reach. Find a nicely circulated subscription-based paper and consider doing an insert instead of a mailing.

Jewish newspapers always have the advantage that they will be read every Sabbath weekend cover to cover. It will never change. Ads within are good, but if you want to tell more about your mission, go for an insert. Let’s compare the pricing – many newspapers have a rate between $80-$115 per thousand inserts (depending on weight). Even if you received a highly discounted postage rate of $.10 per letter, which will be quite rare with the USPS increasing non-profit postage rates, you’ll still pay less to do an insert. And the beauty of a Jewish newspaper is that you can target certain demographics – for example, The Jewish Press targets an Orthodox market, The Jewish Week targets an affluent Modern Orthodox market, The Jewish Standard targets Northern New Jersey, etc. You can target your message to the best prospects that can donate and spread the word. All at a price that beats postage costs.

JEWISH DEAL & COUPON SITES

I heard from a colleage I do business with that they decided to try a Jewish deal site to spread the word about their fundraising event. He expected a few extra responses to augment his attendance – instead he received 200 responses! Luckily, he had room at the event.

With a unique pricing plan that allows for zero upfront costs, Jewish deal sites are a very lucrative option for spreading the word about your mission, increasing attendance, building your social media, and obtaining donations. You’ll have to split the earnings from the Jewish deal sites, such as Jdeal, Kosher Kouponz, Jewpon, etc, but you’re still making money from the new donors at no upfront costs. One drawback is that previous donors/participants  may purchase a discounted deal in lieu of a full price donation/attendance fee but we think it’s stil a shot worth taking a few times, especially for innovative events with high ticket costs.

Especially now, since social media allows you to share your deal or email, these options are even more lucrative. Having a well-functioning Jewish social media page will do wonders for supplementing your online direct marketing efforts. You don’t have that with direct mail. Again, I have to go to the computer, and sign in, and etc etc etc.

Apps: This is a fourth option to consider if you have the budget for it. An app is a great instant way to increase donations instantly. Having anyone with a smartphone, which is probably everyone in the Greater New York area, download your App online will lead to instant communication and instant donations. This option requires more research on your target market and what works for them.

Don’t get me wrong.

If Jewish direct mail works for you, go with it. But don’t let anyone tell you that a 3% success rate on direct mail is valuable. We sure won’t! Especially when you can have a 19% success rate on an email. So for those organizations striking out in their direct mail, and many of them are indeed striking out, put your direct marketing dollars to work in other more cost-effective ways. The younger generation  of donors is demanding it!


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Online Jewish Synagogue for the Holidays

Online Jewish Synagogue for the Holidays

Online Synagogue for Rosh HashanaLast year 14,000 computers were logged in to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays with the first and largest contemporary online synagogue,OurJewishCommunity.org. For the upcoming holidays this year, (Rosh Hashanah Sept. 28-29, Yom Kippur Oct. 7-8), thousands more are expected.

For the first time ever, the online congregation will also tweet the High Holiday services. Hundreds of tweets will be sent out from the Twitter accounts of the online congregation (@JewsOnline) and one of its rabbis, Laura Baum (@rabbi), during the evening and morning services. The tweets come from the liturgy that is used during the services, which can also be downloaded as a PDF in its complete form.

OurJewishCommunity.org is a global outreach initiative of Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over its 30 year history, Beth Adam has written liturgy for the Jewish holidays that expresses a contemporary and modern Jewish experience. The liturgy gives voice to Judaism’s ever-unfolding religious experience and promotes the values of intellectual honesty, open inquiry, and human responsibility. Rabbi Baum expressed, “Our liturgy is meant to be thought-provoking and accessible. What could make it more accessible than tweeting it?”

Thousands of computers and mobile devices (iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, Droids) will log in to services. Rabbi Robert Barr, one of the rabbis of OurJewishCommunity.org, said “We know that people often can’t go to a local synagogue for any one of several reasons. They may be geographically isolated, not able to afford synagogue membership, or unable to leave work or other responsibilities to go to services. Or they may find their local synagogue is more traditional than they would like. What we do is bring contemporary Judaism to people wherever they are.” During those services, which are videostreamed live and archived through Livestream, participants are encouraged to use the Facebook, Twitter, and Livestream chat features on the side of the screen to engage in conversation with each other.

Rabbi Laura Baum explained “We’re rabbis who actually encourage people to talk during our sermons. We want those attending our services online to chat with each other using social media. It’s great to see people engaging in conversation and sharing their own ideas.”

OurJewishCommunity.org, founded by Rabbi Robert Barr and Rabbi Laura Baum, will be video-streaming two Rosh Hashanah and two Yom Kippur services live. In addition, there are holiday services for children; those will be pre-recorded and include stories and age-appropriate background about the holidays. There will also be a pre-recorded Memorial Service featuring photos that the web site’s members’ submit of deceased family members that they are remembering. All of the services will also be archived for future viewing on the computer (although archives are not available on mobile devices).

The services will be live-streamed at www.Facebook.com/OurJewishCommunityin addition to at http://www.OurJewishCommunity.org with Facebook and Twitter chats. Mobile devices can access the live services at www.MobileJudaism.com or through the Livestream app for iPhones.

Dates/Times:
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 8:15 PM ET (Rosh Hashanah Evening)
Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM ET (Rosh Hashanah Morning)
Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM ET (Rosh Hashanah Children’s)

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 8:15 PM ET (Yom Kippur Evening)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 10:30 AM ET (Yom Kippur Morning)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM ET (Yom Kippur Children’s)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM ET (Yom Kippur Memorial)

OurJewishCommunity.org also streams a weekly Shabbat service and offers several other features: blogs, podcasts, video-casts, educational materials, holiday cards, access to rabbis, recipes, conversations, and more. Many people see OurJewishCommunity.org as their synagogue and Rabbis Barr and Baum as their rabbis.

To join the free community and view any of the services, visit http://www.OurJewishCommunity.org or http://www.Facebook.com/OurJewishCommunity.

About OurJewishCommunity.org
OurJewishCommunity.org is the world’s first progressive online synagogue. Launched on September 1, 2008, OurJewishCommunity.org has reached more than 200,000 individuals in all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 150 countries. The online community features blogs, audio podcasts through iTunes, video podcasts through YouTube, streaming holiday services, discussion boards, holiday eCards, recipes, educational materials for all ages, and more. We have more than 3,000 followers on Twitter (www.twitter.com/JewsOnline and http://www.twitter.com/Rabbi) and OurJewishCommunity.org has over 8,000 Facebook fans (www.facebook.com/ourjewishcommunity).

Laura Baum, Rabbi, OurJewishCommunity.org
As the Founding Rabbi of OurJewishCommunity.org, Rabbi Laura Baum works to engage Jews through social media and other technology. Baum was named one of the 50 most influential female rabbis by the Jewish Forward and has been featured in the New York Times, CNN.com, and the Jerusalem Post. “Baum’s Blog” is a central feature of OurJewishCommunity.org as are Rabbi Baum’s YouTube podcasts. An expert on social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, Rabbi Baum has created a new model for engaging those seeking a new way to connect to Judaism.

Rabbi Baum was ordained by Hebrew Union College in 2008 and is now an adjunct instructor there. She graduated from Yale University in 2001 Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and with distinction in the Psychology major. She will receive an M.B.A. from Xavier University this spring.

Robert B. Barr, Rabbi, OurJewishCommunity.org
Rabbi Robert B. Barr, ordained by Hebrew Union College in 1981, is the Founding Rabbi of Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio. Under his leadership for the last 30 years, Beth Adam has grown from 6 members to over 300. The congregation has a significant voice and is a resource for liberal Jews worldwide. Rabbi Barr first imagined the online congregation and has played a continuing role in its development, including his weekly podcasts (“Barr’s Banter”) which are available on iTunes.

Rabbi Barr is active in the leadership of many Jewish organizations and has twice served as president of the Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis. Recognized by his peers as a leader in the evolution of modern, liberal Judaism, his writings have been published in journals, books, and web sites around the world.

High Resolution Photos available at: http://bit.ly/ojcpress

Henry Isaacs | Jewish Marketing & Communications Consultants

P. 201.357.2622  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

  Like Us   Link Up   Follow Us   JewishMarketing101 Blog

A Million Dollar Bat Mitzvah – Dr. Phil’s Radical Parenting Episode

A Million Dollar Bat Mitzvah – Dr. Phil’s Radical Parenting Episode

 

Radical Parenting & Million Dollar Bat Mitzvah

Radical Parenting

Dr. Phil talks to three families about their unconventional parenting styles. Are they too radical, or is there a rationale to their extremes?

Parenting with a Price?


Lana

Lawrence

Lizzie

Lana admits she motivates her 13-year-old daughter, Lizzie, and 18-year-old son, Lawrence, to get better grades with extravagant gifts including a $10,000 painting, trips to Europe and bat mitzvah that cost nearly one million dollars.

“My parenting style can best be described as loving and effective,” Lana says. “I believe in motivating my children by providing them with a very lavish lifestyle. If they do well in school, if they do their chores, then they can have a trip to Africa. They can go to Paris.”

But Lana’s sister, Natalya, says she contests the ritzy reinforcements. “My sister, Lana, super spoils her children to the point of no return,” Natalya says. “I call my sister a ‘mommy tampon’ because she tends to shove herself into every nook, cranny and orifice of her children’s lives.”

Lawrence, who recently started his first year in college, lives in a dorm, but also has his own penthouse two miles from campus and full-time access to a private pilot. In addition to his $2,000 monthly allowance, he and his sister have 24-hour bodyguards. Lawrence and Lizzie’s pet monkey, Mikey, also has his own bodyguard, butler, jewelry collection and trust fund.

“I think I’m a great parent,” Lana says. “If someone wants to know why I spend money, it’s because I can.”

Now seated with both women, Dr. Phil gets to the root of their disagreement.

“Mommy tampon?” he asks Natalya. “I’ve never heard those two words together in a sentence.”

Smiling, Natalya replies, “And I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed because I have no idea where that [term] came from, but it is so the truth. She uses mind control, an extreme amount of money and bodyguards to just shove herself into every aspect of their lives.”

“Are you a helicopter mom? Are you really all over the place as she suggests?” Dr. Phil asks Lana.

“I’m not really a helicopter mom, but I think that in today’s toxic society, we should be aware of what our kids are doing and stay on top of them, and be aware of the social temptations that are out there. So, maybe I’m borderline helicopter mom.”

Dr. Phil quizzes Lana about her children’s bodyguards. “Are these bodyguards or spies?” he asks.

“I like to think of them as chaperones,” Lana explains, adding that even her college-aged son occasionally needs adults to help him make mature decisions.

“So you don’t have a lot of confidence in your children?” Dr. Phil asks.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself and my children,” Lana clarifies. “It’s the rest of the world that I don’t have confidence in.”

Lana also says she makes her children take assessment tests to evaluate their life progress and goals. She claims the tests teach her “the true nature” of her children.

“Do you need a test to know the true nature of your child?” Dr. Phil asks.

“Well, I know my children, but I can tell you that some parents see their children the way they’d like to see them and not for who they really are,” Lana says.

The millionaire mom also asserts that her sister, Natalya, is an out-of-control middle child who secretly envies her lavish lifestyle.

“You said, ‘My sister is a mess. She parties late at night and dresses like a slut,'” Dr. Phil says, recounting a comment Lana made about Natalya. “She’s always doing the wrong things with the wrong guys, and looking for herself in the wrong places.”

Natalya flashes her sister a coy smile and responds, “Here’s what I think: Don’t hate me because you ain’t me! I’m younger and I don’t have a husband. I have two wonderful young kids. So if I can party all week and make it to work, [then OK].”

“I told Mom and Dad you should have been an abortion. I didn’t even want siblings.”

The two sisters continue to argue until Dr. Phil stops them and they return to the topic of Lana’s parenting.

Dr. Phil tells Lana that her over-the-top rewards may rob her kids of genuine motivation to succeed. “If you pay your children or give them massive rewards for performance, that’s what we call external or extrinsic motivation. The higher the extrinsic motivation, the less the internal or intrinsic motivation. A child is not going to develop a thirst for knowledge if his only motivation is to [gain material things]. And when that goes away, there’s no internal motivation. That’s a real problem with indulged children. Do you worry about that?”

“I disagree,” Lana says, explaining that her children are well-behaved and excel in school, so she feels confident in her parenting.

Dr. Phil leaves the mother with one cautionary thought, “OK, you disagree, but I really want you to consider what I’m saying because the research on this is pretty overwhelming.”

Lana stands her ground. “[My children] do what they’re supposed to,” she says. “And I really have no reason to think they’re going to grow up to be anything other than what they are right now.”


High Style Events | Stylish Events Planners for the Jewish Event

P. 201.357.2622  |  E. Events@HighStyleEvents.com  | http://www.HighStyleEvents.com
Weddings | Bar/Bat Mitzvah | Social Events | Non-Profit | Corporate

  Like Us   Link Up   Follow Us   JewishMarketing101 Blog
Subway – Eat Fresh! Not a Hit With Kosher Customers

Subway – Eat Fresh! Not a Hit With Kosher Customers

Kosher Subway Not a HitSubway – Eat Fresh! Not a Hit With Kosher Customers

Local franchises of sandwich chain were touted as next big kosher thing. What happened?

Amy Spiro
Special to the Jewish Week

Less than 1 percent of all new Subway restaurants fail, according to statements from the popular sandwich chain. But in the New York area all five kosher Subway outposts — once described as the next big fad in kosher dining — have closed in the last few years, leading many to wonder if what was once the largest U.S. kosher restaurant chain was just a passing fad.

In 2008, a kosher Subway store opened on Water Street in Lower Manhattan. Six months later, it closed, and reopened as a non-kosher Subway. Locations in Westchester, Brooklyn, Long Island and, most recently, on Jewel Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, suffered a similar fate. A storefront in Livingston, N.J., closed after 15 months of operation. Locations planned for the Upper West Side and Teaneck, N.J., never came to fruition. At their peak, 12 kosher Subway locations were open in the U.S.; today only five remain.

Owners at several of the closed locations said that operating a kosher establishment within the Subway parameters proved frustrating and that added expenses made it difficult to turn a profit.

Liron Shamsiav, former owner of the Queens location, said “a combination of factors” led to his store’s closing several months ago.

In addition to other fees, franchisees pay 4.5 percent of their sales to headquarters for advertising, but “you don’t get anything from it [in] the Jewish area and the Jewish crowd,” Shamsiav said, since many of the traditional promotions (like the $5 foot-long sandwich) and menu items are not available in kosher stores.

“We had to add more advertising from our own budget,” he said, which cut in to profits already weakened by the high cost of kosher meat and New York City rent. Shamsiav said that while initially Subway headquarters were more flexible and willing to aid the kosher franchisees, they became more difficult and uncompromising as time went on.

Even outside New York, Joan Fogel had great difficulties managing her kosher Subway outpost in a suburb of Kansas City, Kan., and ultimately sold it at the end of 2010, when it reopened as a non-kosher establishment.

“We were invisible to HQ,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Jewish Week. “We were never able to get Subway to do any advertising or marketing for us, even though we paid in to the fund monthly,” she said.

Fogel, who owned and managed the restaurant with her husband Roger, said that Subway did not allow them to serve any specialty items — unlike many New York stores, which offered shwarma or other dishes not found on the traditional Subway menu. They also suffered from difficulties in acquiring kosher meat, and wildly fluctuating prices for supplies.

“We had ongoing supply problems and had no purchasing power through Subway, which we were told we would have,” said Fogel. Ultimately, though their franchise was the only kosher restaurant in the area, the couple “got tired of the uphill battles and the lack of support from Subway.”
The Chicago kosher location announced on Sept. 1 that it too was closing its doors.

“Unfortunately, Walgreens bought the strip mall where we were located,” the restaurant posted on its Facebook page. “We considered moving locations, but it took us two years to find this location and we did not want to go through the process again.” The restaurant stated that a non-kosher franchise will replace it.

Though none of the New York locations remain open, along with the Chicago and Kansas City ones, the kosher Subway experiment appears to be working in some places. Locations in Cleveland, Miami, Los Angeles and two stores in Maryland have thrived in their communities.
After watching the five New York locations come and go, Dani Klein, editor and founder of YeahThatsKosher.com, has his own theory on what doomed the metro area’s restaurants.

“It’s not just one reason; I think it probably has to do with multiple factors,” said Klein, whose website compiles kosher travel information from around the globe.

“New York has a plethora of kosher options; it takes a lot to keep a kosher establishment in business,” he said, citing three main reasons for struggles of the locations there. First, a disconnect for consumers between Subway’s national advertising versus the higher prices in kosher franchises; second, the excitement wearing off after the initial thrill of being able to eat there; and third, the fact “New York Jews know deli,” and the Subway chains pale in comparison.

Klein has eaten in the former Manhattan location and the Los Angeles store, which remains open, and said he “didn’t really see the appeal to why it was so exciting … it was OK.”

Explaining why kosher Subways are difficult to maintain, owners cite the higher cost of kosher ingredients and kosher supervision, the inability to remain open on Saturdays and the alienating of some non-kosher customers who prefer the original menu and prices.

Many of the surviving kosher locations avoid unsatisfied non-kosher consumers, since they are housed in Jewish community centers. The Cleveland, Miami and Rockville, Md., franchises all opened inside existing JCCs, guaranteeing them a steady stream of kosher-observant customers and a smaller chance of irate lunchers looking for a ham and cheese sandwich.

Housed in the Mandel JCC, in the suburb of Beachwood, business is good at the Cleveland location — the first kosher Subway in the nation.
“We get a lot of traffic from both the Jewish community and also members who are here to use the gym facilities and the pool,” said Joe Faddoul, manager of the store. “We have a lot of repeat customers, a lot of people that we see on a daily basis.”

While Faddoul was “surprised to hear” that so many stores in New York had closed, he recognizes that “there is a lot more competition there as far as kosher restaurants go.” In the Cleveland community, “there is just a handful” of kosher restaurants, he said, and several have closed over the past couple years.

A representative for Subway refused to speak to The Jewish Week about anything concerning the kosher stores, citing an ongoing lawsuit that he declined to name.

Last year, Les Winograd, a spokesman for Subway, told this reporter that while many of the kosher locations have opened and closed, each one shuts down for individual reasons, without an overarching trend. In addition, he said “we try to get [the owners] to understand that you might see a huge boost in business when you open,” he said, “but once the novelty dies away things are going to level out.”

The Jewish Week
Published on The Jewish Week (http://www.thejewishweek.com)

Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish Non-Profit aims to “Be Like Mike”

Jewish Non-Profit aims to “Be Like Mike”

http://ping.fm/6G4uT

Jewish PR 101 – Create A “Soap Opera” About Your Mission

Jewish PR 101 – Create A “Soap Opera” About Your Mission

Jewish Non-Profit Public RelationsWhen it comes to public relations, you need to do more than simply write a heading, a couple paragraphs, and click the send button. You need to create a soap opera about your brand.

Soap opera’s are one of the most unique and captivating shows on television and there’s a reason why they are some of the longest running TV shows in the world (Telenovela’s, anyone?) People tune in every day to find out more and more about their favorite characters and the drama they encounter, and are despondent when they miss a show or tune in five minutes late! And soap opera’s don’t disappoint either – the writers constantly keep the shows relevant and captivating day after day while still maintaining a fresh storyline that new audiences can get into without having to see back episodes. Truly a remarkable force to watch, literally.

And that’s what is GREAT PR. Having a story line and mission that captivates your core and target audience day after day, inviting them to get involved instantly and be a part of the soap opera. Let’s lead by example:

  • Don’t just invite people to your organizational dinner – start a “Countdown to The Dinner” with Behind The Scenes video, meetings, and dinner ideas floated out in social media that invites your audience to get excited for the big day.
  • Your product is going Kosher? We’d love to see your ads, your PR, and your events surrounding why and when you’re going Kosher! Let the Jewish audience give our feedback, wishes, hopes, and ideas for your launch.
  • Is your school looking to freshen up it’s image and increase admissions? Start a “Teen Soap Opera” complete with band video’s, e-High School Newspapers, and mock campaigns for Student Government that parents, students, and alumni can participate in (and fund!)

Or you could do always do. Type up a press release. Hit send.

Unlike other PR professionals, we worked with writers. We know what grabs their attention and we also know what makes them toss a press release into the garbage. And we also understand the nuances of being raised in “Old School PR” and living in the “New School PR” (Check out our post on what we mean here). So targeting the best contacts and maintaining follow through is of the utmost importance, yet if you’ve created a soap opera, they are already FOLLOWING YOU. And with social media, it’s even easier to get started.

Create a “Soap Opera“. Get a following.

Henry Isaacs | Jewish Marketing & Communications Consultants

P. 201.357.2622  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

  Like Us   Link Up   Follow Us   JewishMarketing101 Blog